Ford Performance NASCAR: Atlanta (Mustang Claims First Cup Series Win with Brad Keselowski at Atlanta)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Sunday, February 24, 2019
EVENT: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (Post Race Quotes)

MUSTANG GOES TO VICTORY LANE FOR FIRST TIME IN NASCAR CUP SERIES

The iconic Ford Mustang won for the first time in NASCAR’s top series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, behind driver Brad Keselowski at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The win today is the 28th of Keselowski’s Cup Series career.

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Today’s win is Ford’s 678th all-time in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.

Of Team Penske’s 66 MENCS wins with Ford, 39 have come since rejoining Ford in 2013.

FORD FINISHING RESULTS
1st – Brad Keselowski
4th – Kevin Harvick
5th – Clint Bowyer
8th – Aric Almirola
10th – Daniel Suarez
13th – Ryan Newman
14th – Paul Menard
16th – David Ragan
18th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22nd – Ryan Blaney
23rd – Joey Logano
28th – Matt Tifft
29th – Corey LaJoie
37th – Michael McDowell

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Autotrader Ford Mustang – Finished 1st – Victory Lane Interview
THEY TOLD ME BEFORE THE RACE YOU WERE 70 OR 80 PERCENT, BUT 70 OR 80 PERCENT IN THE CAR WAS ALL GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN. YOU BACKED IT UP. HOW DID YOU DO THAT? “Good enough to get the job done. I think first off, I’ve got to give a lot to credit to one, my wife, who’s standing in the back. She was sick just like I was, and she took great care of me along with everybody in the care center. I couldn’t be here today without them. So thank you. And Doug Yates, we ran over a piece of debris with, I don’t know, probably 50 laps to go and overheated really bad, and I thought there was no way this engine would make it to the end, but Doug Yates and his team, they do a great job. I’m pretty sure it’s all used up, Doug, but it’s in Victory Lane, so that’s okay, right? And then my sponsor Autotrader; they let me put for my foundation all the names of some veterans on the car to honor them. Just a lot of really cool things that came together this weekend, and this is one of them I’m not going to forget for a very long time.”

AND YOU’RE THE WINNINGEST PENSKE DRIVER EVER WITH YOUR 60TH WIN. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU? “I think any win means a lot, but that’s a big number. Now I get to wear that yellow Mark Donohue helmet. Yocum has been on me about it. Now I can, Matt, so here we go, we’re going to wear it next week. But what a tremendous honor. This day is ‑‑ wow, I don’t even know how to put it in words. I’m just excited for this team, first race with the new rules or whatever they’re called now, and to be able to win it, that’s really special, as well, and I know everybody here is excited about that, and just a great day overall for Team Penske and our Ford Mustang.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang – Finished 4th

“We had a good race. It just felt like we were one step behind all the way from Friday. We made it the best it had been there at the end of the run. When we got the shadows in one and two and cooled off our car got way too tight and started chattering the right tire. We made it a lot better at the end though. Our Busch Beer Ford had a solid day though and we were able to adjust on the car and make it better throughout the day. We just got really tight in the middle of the race and we just ran out of time.”

CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang — Finished 5th

“Our run wasn’t pretty. I knew our car had great speed. Obviously from practice and qualifying. Racing is a different beast, especially at Atlanta. You have to take care of those Goodyears. The way I had it, it felt like I was on top of the track skating around too much. We made good air pressure adjustments and got the grip level back in my race car to where I could compete. It is just weird. You see cars that are kind of up, cars that are down, cars that are dragging, cars that aren’t. Trying to figure out the right scenario for this is going to be interesting. You have to remember, this is a one off race. There is no track that we go to anymore that is as slick as this and as hard on tires. It will be interesting to see what Las Vegas brings.”

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang — Finished 8th

“Clean air was a big deal. Early in the race our car was really fast out front and when we got behind in second it still felt like we were a second or third place car. Then I made a terrible mistake getting onto pit road and was three-tenths of mile an hour too fast and that is too fast. I had to go to the tail and then my goodness was it a challenge. Traffic, cars make so much downforce and we are all going so fast that it is really hard to make passes until late, late, late in the run. So, that is my fault. We had a really fast Smithfield Ford Mustang and it was driver error that made the mistake and that hurt the rest of our day.”

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